Friday, December 29, 2006
Favourite Reads of 2006
I seemed to have really enjoyed a lot of the books that I read this year. I read a lot of authors that I had never read before, so it was a very new experience. The problem is how many books I gave a 5/5. It is a lot, so, here they all are. I am not very strict with my 5. I just have to finish it and want to read it again right then and there. I just read a lot of books that I felt that way for, which is actually quite unusual for me. Normally there are only a couple. So, the list:
A Rose for the Crown by Anne Easter Smith:
- I remember seeing this book at the airport bookstore and wanting to read it because the back sounded so interesting, but the authors name totally left me and I could not remember what it was called when I went to get it from a cheaper store. Thankfully, it picked up popularity on a historical fiction forum I visit, even being book of the month, so I got the chance to read it. I just really liked how it was written. I recommend it. I look forward to more books by this author.
The Dark Queen by Susan Carroll:
- This book was book of the month for the same forums. I have read this and the sequel, The Courtesan, but I never did get to the third book in the trilogy. I meant to read it, but it happened during my rather long reading lull. It is one of the books I need to read as soon as possible in the New Year. I just liked how this book was very interesting, with a mix of history and fantasy that was tastefully done. While I liked this particular trilogy, I do not think she would be an author that I would pick up unless she had another type of series.
Troy: Lord of the Silver Bow by David Gemmell:
- I really wish I had discovered David Gemmell a LONG time ago, because he is by far one of my favourite finds for 2006. I have the next title in the Troy trilogy, but I am sort of waiting to get over my reading lull and really enjoy it. David Gemell passed away this year, with this trilogy not completed, so I am also waiting to hear for sure what is going to happen.
Night by Elie Wiesel:
- I found this short book had a lot of impact. It was one of my favourite non-fiction books because it talks about a subject that I have always been interested in, and puts faces to a very dark period in history.
The Sunne in Splendour by Sharon Kay Penman:
- I loved this book. Totally considered a chunkster, but worth every page. I really must read her other trilogy next year. This and A Rose for the Crown are my two favourite historical fiction books for the year. There were others that were good, but these two were the ones that I enjoyed the most. I did not mind the battle scenes, but I know some people found them tedious at times. I look forward to reading more from her!
Ember from the Sun by Mark Cantor:
- The woman at one of the bookstores I visit all the time recommended this book. She appears to have stopped working there, but she was very nice, and was always handing me books that were appealling. This book is really an alternate history, and it is not totally impossible to happen. I really enjoyed reading it, I must say. I do not think this would be a book I would have found on my own, so I am grateful for the experience!
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon:
- It took me two tries to enjoy this book. The first time I tried to read it, I could not get into it, but this time around I really enjoyed it. I have yet to read the rest of the series, but did try the second book after finishing this one. I think she is just an author that needs to grow on me, and it takes a bit.
Phantom by Susan Kay:
- While all these books received a 5/5, this was by far my favourite (tied with one other). I just loved this book. I have always been interested in the Phantom of the Opera, but this book was just so well written, and I was devastated to reach the end. I really want to reread it, but I have so much to do, I rarely ever reread.
The Skystone by Jack Whyte:
- This author is tied with David Gemmell for author I wish I had discovered earlier. I love Arthurian stuff, so I just am really enjoying this series. I meant to read book three, but just have not got there yet. It is one of my priorities for the New Year. I would like to read all of them by the end of next year. We will see how that works out. A great historical fantasy-type series.
Rebel Angels by Libba Bray:
- My favourite young adult read of 2006. I cannot wait for book three! I know many people enjoyed Twilight by Stephanie Meyer, but for me, Bray is better. I still have to read New Moon by Meyer. Another priority... There are a lot of priorities.
Marley and Me by John Grogan:
- I loved this book. I am not sure I could reread it, though, but I loved it. It reminded me of my dogs in so many ways. It's sad to lose a pet, and I am having some bad luck in that department this month, as I have to take another cat to the vet in the morning and it does not look good. So, that is all I will say about a rather touchy subject...
The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield:
- This book is tied with Phantom as my favourite of favourite. It was a fantastic read, and I am loving seeing so many other people enjoying it. I look forward to more books by her!
The Keep by Jennifer Egan:
- I loved this book, and I would never have read it if it was not for my new friends this year, Random House. I have read a lot of great books that I would not have read if it was not for them, and I am very grateful for the experience.
This is my Country, What's Yours? by Noah Richler:
- This is another book I likely would never have had the chance to read if it was not for Random House. I remember that when I was reading it, I would look at the book store for it, and it was not in a place that it would have caught my eye if I had not been looking for it. It is a great look at Canada and its authors.
Magic Study by Maria Snyder:
- I loved both this book and Poison Study, but this one was just a little bit better. It's great, both this and Marley and Me were gifts, so thank you Chris for lucking in on buying me two really great reads! This was my favourite fantasy novel of the year, not counting Gemmell and Whyte. There were a lot of other great fantasy reads, though, but this was my favourite. I look forward to more great ones in the future.